Nassau County residents flood to early voting sites in record numbers

Robert Pelaez
The Gayle Community Center in Roslyn Heights is one of a number of early voting locations named by Nassau County for the general election in November. (Photo courtesy of the Roslyn Landmark Society)

Around 40,000 Nassau County residents had taken the trip to one of the 15 early voting sites throughout the county as of Tuesday, according to election board officials.

Around 60,000 Long Islanders had cast their ballots in the early voting process, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said Tuesday. She said the turnout was more than twice the total amount of early votes last year.

Registered Democrats have been more inclined to vote early, officials said. On Saturday, when early voting began throughout the state, 12,839 Democrats and 4,347 Republicans went to the polls in the county, according to officials.

The final weekend count of Nassau residents who participated in early voting was 35,334, Nassau Democratic Elections Commissioner James Scheuerman said. More than 20,000 registered Democrats in Nassau County cast their ballots in person before Monday, compared with 7,532 Republicans, according to county data. The county did not give the affiliation of the rest of the early voters.

Curran stressed the importance of voting to county residents, regardless of who they choose to support on a local and national level.

“It is not my business who you vote for; that is up to you,” Curran said during a Friday news conference. “But I will say and beseech you to please let your voice be heard.”

Curran touted the work of state officials who helped implement early voting throughout New York for the first time last year. Curran said the county invested close to $4 million to make sure early voting was spread out in 15 locations.

Scheuerman said the Board of Elections has been consistently meeting with law enforcement to ensure health and safety protocols implemented due to the pandemic are observed, and no instances of voter intimidation are occurring.

“The Police Department is with us on Election Day as well, so if there’s any issues at the poll site, with voter intimidation, the police will respond accordingly,” Scheuerman said.

He also said the county received more than 180,000 requests for absentee ballots. The next closest election in terms of absentee ballot requests was 2016, when the county received around 48,000 requests. Of the 180,000 requests this year, Scheuerman said, around 44 percent had already been returned as of Friday.

All early polling places will be open until Sunday, Nov. 1, with times varying by day and listed below.

Locations in the Town of North Hempstead include the Gayle Community Center at 53 Orchard St. in Roslyn Heights, the Floral Park Recreation Center at 124 Stewart St., the Yes We Can Center at 141 Garden St. in Westbury, and the Nassau County Board of Elections at 240 Old Country Road in Mineola.

Locations in the Town of Hempstead include Brierley Park at 65 Dartmouth St. in Hempstead, the Elmont Public Library at 700 Hempstead Turnpike, the Freeport Recreation Center at 130 East Merrick Road, the Recreation Complex at St. Paul’s Field House at 295 Stewart Ave. in Garden City, the Lawrence Country Club at 101 Causeway, St. Markella Greek Orthodox Church at 1960 Jones Ave. in Wantagh, the West Hempstead Library at 500 Hempstead Ave., and North Merrick Public Library at 1691 Meadowbrook Road.

The other three, located in Levittown Hall at 201 Levittown Parkway in Hicksville, Mid-Island Y JCC at 45 Manetto Hill Road in Plainview, and Town Hall South at 977 Hicksville Road in Massapequa, are in the Town of Oyster Bay.

Registered voters can cast ballots at any early voting location, but on Election Day on Tuesday will be required to go to their regularly assigned polling spot.

Early polling places will be open on the following days at the following times:

Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 29, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 30, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 31, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Robert Pelaez

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